A cruel blow for Hil­lary Clinton

Malta Independent - - DEBATE & ANALYSIS -

Po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness has gone mad. Re­spect for the opin­ion of ex­perts is now at an all­time low. Dur­ing the US pres­i­den­tial cam­paigns, the me­dia made a lot of ter­ri­ble mis­takes and is not be­ing trusted any longer. The anger and frus­tra­tion of Amer­i­can vot­ers paved the way for a tri­umphant Don­ald Trump in last week’s US Pres­i­den­tial Elec­tion. It was a cruel blow for Hil­lary Clinton and a harsh re­al­ity for the Euro­pean Union and other demo­cratic na­tions across the globe.

On the ba­sis of polling, I pre­sumed, like many oth­ers, that Hil­lary Clinton would win. Al­most all the polls showed that Hil­lary Clinton was main­tain­ing a lead of two to three points and a good ad­van­tage in the Elec­toral Col­lege. But of course, we should have known bet­ter!

Hil­lary Clinton lost be­cause mil­lions of Democrats chose not to vote at all. She trusted the data too much. She trusted the Me­dia too much. Like the poll­sters, Mrs Clinton as­sumed that when peo­ple said they didn’t trust or like Trump, then they wouldn’t vote for him... she was wrong.

Mrs Clinton thought that by de­fend­ing abor­tion, she could win the women’s vote; by promis­ing po­lice re­form, she could win over the blacks; by bash­ing Trump on im­mi­grants, she could win the Lati­nos’votes. Cru­cially, her ad­ver­tis­ing turned out to be al­most en­tirely neg­a­tive.

Out of cu­rios­ity, tens of thou­sands of peo­ple used to turn up at Trump’s ral­lies, many of them not Repub­li­cans. They showed en­thu­si­as­tic sup­port for Trump be­cause they were an­gry about the di­rec­tion of the na­tion and the fail­ure of con­gres­sional lead­er­ship. In cru­cial elec­tions, en­thu­si­asm does mat­ter. Rhetoric too mat­ters. Pub­lic ral­lies mat­ter.

Los­ing the White House to a mav­er­ick, a bully, a bigot, a busi­ness­man, a co­me­dian, who will oc­cupy the high­est of­fice in Amer­ica with­out an ounce of ex­pe­ri­ence and with a hor­rid list of law­suits pend­ing against him, does make me sad and an­gry and feel­ing sorry for Hil­lary Clinton. The elec­tion of Trump as the 45th US Pres­i­dent is a shat­ter­ing dis­ap­point­ment for all of us who prayed that Hil­lary Clinton would be the first woman ap­pointed Pres­i­dent of the United States of Amer­ica come next Jan­uary.

Jos Ed­mond Zarb Birkirkara

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